System Center Configuration Manager, in short, Known as SCCM, is a Microsoft software management suite developed for users to manage various devices like desktops, laptops, and even mobile devices with different operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, Unix, iOS, and Android.
Microsoft Intune is a trial-based software and SCCM integrated with it. If the trial period expires, a license has to be purchased in order to continue. It allows users to manage systems connected to a corporate network or a business.
Previously, SCCM was known as Systems Management Server (SMS) and was renamed to SCCM, and now, it is also called ConfigMgr. The following are some of the SCCM features:
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System requirements to install SCCM 2012 are as follows:
The following are the system hardware requirements to install SCCM 2012:
If a correct cumulative update or a service pack is not installed, installation errors might occur.
A configuration Manager requires a 64-bit version of SQL Server to host the site database. The database must use the following type of collation (SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS):
SCCM 2012 R2 clients can be installed on the following OS:
Operating Systems required for SCCM 2012 Console Installation. Each version of the operating system must have the minimum version of Microsoft .NET Framework.
The supported operating systems for running the Configuration Manager console are:
Primary Site Server: The primary sites process all the client data from their respective clients. They use the database replication technique to interact with the central administration site. Whenever a new site is installed, automatically their behavior is configured.
Once hardware requirements are fulfilled, prepare the server environment before Installing SCCM. Prerequisites for primary site server are listed below:
If you haven't installed SCCM previously in your domain, only then you are supposed to extend the Active Directory Schema, and if you have installed SCCM 2007 and thinking of migrating, then you can skip this step.
The following are the steps to extend Active Directory Schema:
Log into the server with Schema Admins security group membership account. Open Administrator windows PowerShell: SCCM ISO and run the command: SMSSETUPBINX64extadsch.exe. A console appears as shown in the image below.
To check the schema extension result:
Open the location (root) of the system drive ⇒ chose extadsch.log. The image below shows the extadsch copied to the notepad.
A soon as the schema is extended, the system management container is not created. So, you must individually create this container for all domains including the primary site server, ConfigMgr primary site server, and secondary site server that publishes site information to AD Domain Services.
Create all child object permissions on the System container.
Start the ADSI edit and right-click ⇒ ADSI Edit and select connect to as shown in the image below.
As shown in the image below, open connection settings: Don't change the default settings, click⇒ ‘OK’.
Expand system container ADSI edit, right-click on CN=system ⇒ new ⇒ select object as shown in the image below.
In the create an object dialog box, select ⇒ container click⇒ Next as shown in the image below.
In the create object window near the value label, enter system management, and click ⇒ Next.
As shown in the image below, click ⇒ the finish button to exit the create object window.
Set Security Permissions on the System Management Container
To set security permissions: Open System Management properties of the container that was created earlier.
choose ⇒ the security tab ⇒ to add the site server account (M-SCCM) and grant the full control permission and for advanced settings click⇒ site server’s computer account and click⇒ edit as shown in the image below.
In the advanced settings, open ⇒ permissions. A permission entry for system management dialogue box appears ⇒ In applies to label ⇒ select “This object and all descendant objects“ ⇒ click ok and close the dialogue box.
As a feature of windows server windows, ADK is installed to run SQL Server 2012. The following are the steps to install Windows ADK:
Step 1: Open the installation wizard
Step 2: Click on Windows ADK ⇒ select the Online installation option ⇒ Select the updated version to install.
If you don’t find the latest ADK version in the menu, then download the updated version on the server by selecting the offline installation option providing the ADK file path.
Step 3: Depending upon available bandwidth and system performance, installation time may vary. Click on install as shown in the image below.
Step 4: After successful installation, in the log information, you will receive a successful message with exit code “0” as shown in the image below.
Step 5: Restart the server to complete the windows ADK installation.
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) Installation & Configuration is a computer program previously known as Software Update Services (SUS), enables administrators to manage the distribution of updates and hotfixes released for Microsoft products to computers in a corporate environment.
The following are the steps to install and configure WSUS:
Step 1: Open ConfigMgr Prerequisites tool ⇒ Click WSUS ⇒ choose Windows Internal Database option.
Step 2: Click Install and the installation may take some time. After installation is finished, you will get a successful message with an exit code “0”.
You have an option to choose either WSUS internal database or SQL Server FQDN.
If you choose SQL Server FQDN, you have to provide SQL Server and its Instance name and click on Install. As shown in the image below, I have chosen the windows internal database as it is easy and hassle-free.
The following roles and features must be installed onto the Site Server before installing a stand-alone Primary site.
The following are the two different features that must be installed onto the site server:
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
BITS is a part of Internet Information Services (IIS) that controls advanced file transfer methods. It only monitors the local Network Interface Card (NIC) but it only monitors the bandwidth while performing file transfer.
Whenever the ConfigMgr client plots a request to transfer the files, it handles requests and transfers asynchronous files.
It automatically resumes the file transfer tasks even after restarting the computer.
Remote Differential Compression
Remote Differential Compression calculates, transfers, and communicates the differences that are observed between two objects over a network with limited bandwidth.
The distribution points and the site servers require this feature for signature comparison and to generate package signatures. Prerequisites for installing SQL Server 2008R2/2012 are listed below:
Roles: The following are the three roles that must be installed onto the site server:
Web Server (IIS): Several site system roles require IIS. The following are some of the IIS role services that are to be installed:
Application Development: The following are some of the applications required:
Management Tools: The following are IIS management tools:
The Following are the steps to Install Roles and features:
Step 1: Open Add Roles and Features Wizard in Server Manager.
Step 2: Select Web Server (IIS) ⇒ click on add features then add required features Web Server IIS and Click ⇒ Next as shown in the image below.
Step 3: Select ⇒ In Features page, choose the framework ⇒ .Net Framework 3.5 including its sub-features, BITS, and its IIS server extension, remote differential compression, and by default, the .Net Framework 4.5 is already installed. Click ⇒ Next, to start the installation as shown in the image below.
Step 4: After adding the features and roles, click ⇒ Install, and after successful installation, proceed to a confirmation page.
Before we launch the SCCM 2012 R2 installation, it is mandatory to launch the Prerequisite Check tool in order to verify if all components are configured correctly.
The SCCM 2012 R2 installation wizard will also run this check but if you’re missing a requirement, you’ll have to go through the whole installation wizard again after fixing it. We prefer to use the standalone tool.
To start the tool :
If you follow the guide correctly you’ll have this wonderful result :
Finally, we are ready to launch the setup. Firstly, reboot the server to ensure that the machine is not in a Reboot pending state.
After the setup opens, click install as shown in the image below.
Click Next to get started.
Choose install a primary site option at this moment and click Next to continue.
Enter a product key or evaluate the existing key and click Next to continue.
Accept the terms and conditions for the license agreement and click on Next to continue.
Check all the prerequisites licenses and click on the Next button.
As shown in the image below, create a folder to store all updates to install and also specify the path to install SCCM. Click on Next to continue.
All the updates are downloaded through the configuration manager setup downloader and are installed.
Choose language requirements for the SCCM server according to your preference and click on the Next button to continue as shown in the image below.
Select the client language required and click on Next to proceed.
In the Site and Installation Settings wizard enter your Site Code i,e. a 3 digit site code, enter the description and click Next as shown in the image below.
Use the same site code that is used earlier for creating a database. Repeating the site codes more than once is not permitted in a configuration manager hierarchy for primary sites.
Reuse of site code can cause the risk of object ID conflicts in the configuration manager hierarchy and also while performing a migration from 2007 to 2012.
You have the option to choose either to join an existing hierarchy or to run the primary as stand-alone and click on Next to proceed as shown below.
Accept the default database configuration and click on Next as shown in the image below.
As shown in the image below, to the log file and SQL database file, specify the path and click on Next button to continue.
AS shown in the image below, to set the current server as the SMS Provider, Click on the Next button.
Choose the ‘Configure the communication method’ option and Click Next to proceed.
As shown in the image below, the client connection drop-down is disabled due to our choices. Install both an MP and a DP onto the site server. Click Next to proceed.
You will have an option to choose whether to join the CEIP or not and click ⇒ Next to proceed.
Warnings, as shown in the image below, can be ignored at the prerequisite check screen. Proceed to Installation click⇒ the Begin install button.
SCCM Configuration Manager setup wizard starts installation as shown in the image below.
After installation, you will receive a message “ core setup has completed” then ⇒ Click the close button as shown in the image below.
After installation, open the SCCM Console and check the site and database report under System Status ⇒ Site Status, as shown in the image below.
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The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager has many advantages for those organizations which are looking for time optimization to deploy updates. This is not a small tool, and it requires more attention and reflection to implement.
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Ravindra Savaram is a Content Lead at Mindmajix.com. His passion lies in writing articles on the most popular IT platforms including Machine learning, DevOps, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, RPA, Deep Learning, and so on. You can stay up to date on all these technologies by following him on LinkedIn and Twitter.